Photographic Funk.

funk1
/fəNGk/
INFORMAL: noun: funk
  1. NORTH AMERICAN
    a state of depression.

I’ve been in a photographic funk.  This is quite evident in my images, if you’ve been watching.

They say this happens to every photographer at some point, though I never thought it would happen to me.  Mostly because photography has always helped me get through the difficult times in my life; it was the cure for whatever ailed me.

Lately, it’s felt more like a curse.

I’ve been chasing technology, rotating through the latest and greatest.  It is a process I always engaged in to some extent, in order to expand my experiences and learn new tricks; sometimes I did it just to stimulate the creative juices. But that’s no longer working.  I feel like I have strayed too far.

Though I have been out and about — for walks, bike rides, etc. — I’ve had no desire to bring a camera with me.  It all seems so silly to create yet another image to add to the millions of other images uploaded into the ether on a daily basis.  Painters, sculptors, musicians, writers:  they create art.  The rest of us: monkeys taking snapshots.

So, for the first time in a long time, I am without a single camera or lens.

They’re all gone, and I couldn’t care less.

—Peter.

14 thoughts on “Photographic Funk.

  1. Melissa West says:

    Hello Peter

    I am sorry that you have arrived at such an impasse.

    Perhaps with a change of scene there will be a change in your ideas.

    Stay safe.

    Mélissa

  2. I definitely recognize this feeling. Getting a new piece of gear, trying some new thing, only gets you so far. It used to challenge. Now it’s just expensive.

    I’ve been trying new subject matter like still life as a way of pushing myself when the streets I normally shoot in are empty and uninteresting. Haven’t found a flow yet. I hope you find yours.

  3. Rene Sterental says:

    This too, shall pass. In the meantime, make the best of it. It’s ok not to have a camera for now.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Sounds like someone is clearing space for an M10-R 🤔

  5. Dave Uhlig says:

    Hey Peter! I’m sorry you are feeling this way. Photography is definitely connected with our thoughts and emotions as an art form. I know my images aren’t as good depending on my mood.

    I do know there isn’t any way I could ever see myself without a camera. That is my own personal opinion. Photography has been such a saving grace in my life, I feel it’s a part of me.

    The iPhone can be a great creative outlet. The images can’t be edited much, but it is always in your pocket. I think I would have a seizure or something if I couldn’t take images anymore. I’m always chasing that light!

    I hope you find peace and solace in your decisions. If you ever need to talk, feel free to text or call.

  6. Pedro says:

    Hey Peter, similar thing here but I’m not worried. I guess it happens to us all, its like being with family all the time. At some point you just had enough and need some distance to build up what we portuguese call saudade. Then you’ll be back as new! Meanwhile seize the time there’s plenty of art, music and life to grab 😉

  7. Andrew Gemmell says:

    Oh Peter…I can SO relate to this. It’s been a couple of years for me. We really want that “feedback” which keeps our heart and mind engaged and when the feedback is not forthcoming, the desire starts to wain.

    I suspect a simple set up with one camera, one lens (film or digital) will return at some point.

    I have been focused on my guitar since putting the camera down and loving it. Obviously very different type of feedback!

  8. Maybe it’s because so much of the world is on pause. The energy of the world affects how we feel.

    But, I think it’s right to say that in order to make something live, you have to kill it. Pruning plants is one analogy. The Phoenix is another. Jesus could be another, although he’s so popular an example, mentioning Jesus is kind of trite – on my part, not his.

    I wanted to quit photography for good at least twice over the past ten years. I didn’t fight it, I just stopped taking photos for a while.

    It’s fair to say that photography isn’t actually creative – we are not making, we are finding and taking. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s what sets photography apart from the other visual arts. It’s expressive, though, that’s true.

    You raise another good point – there are so many photos taken today. Is that bad? Good? Neither? (Damn I just realized I sound just like Hugh Brownstone!). The cost of photography is effectively towards zero, so the volume is inevitable.

    If I had the patience I’d learn how to draw. FWIW. 🙂

  9. jh says:

    May I suggest, a Rocket Espresso Appartamento, a Eureka Mignon Filtro grinder and a decent local roaster. Fixes my ‘funk’ in no time 😉

  10. Aivaras says:

    Peter. Sooner or later we all fall into the same void. I’m sure that will pass and you’ll find new energy. Stay safe and sane!

  11. Henry Beckmeyer says:

    This is why I own a Rolleiflex. It is so different from shooting any of my other cameras (film, square format, waist level finder, reversed ground glass viewing, etc etc), that I find it challenging and refreshing to use. Seems to clear my head…
    Plus, who care about the multitudes of photos out there? You’re supposed to do it for yourself. The rest is just icing on a cake – nice, but not “the cake”.

  12. Melissa, Steve, Rene, Dave, Pedro, Karim, jh, Aivaras, Andrew, Jonathan, Henry: thank you for sharing your experiences/thoughts, and for your support.

    Andrew I finally understand what you’ve been going through.

    Jonathan, I’m definitely not getting an M10-R.

  13. Rene Sterental says:

    Peter,

    If I may ask, why get rid of the camera and lenses instead of just storing them for future use?

    René

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